Barnstaple and District RNLI Fundraisers say a fond farewell to their President
Members and friends of the RNLI Barnstaple and District Fundraising Branch are saddened by the death of their branch President, Arnold Bradbury BEM PHF FCIB, who passed away on 3 December 2020 at the age of eighty eight.
Arnold had a distinguished career with Lloyds Bank and after his retirement became very involved in several charities and local community work for which he was honoured with a British Empire Medal in 2018.
Throughout his life, Arnold was a keen sportsman and continued playing tennis well into his 80’s. He was also an avid supporter of Wolves Football Club, Somerset County Cricket and Barnstaple Rugby Club.
His involvement with the RNLI started in the mid 1970’s in Shaftsbury and then in Barnstaple from 1983 during which time he held the volunteer roles of Treasurer, Chair and ultimately President.
His greatest RNLI achievement was the annual Gala Dinner which was born in the spring of 1994.
At that time Arnold was Chair and Mrs Florence Brend, a local Hotelier and Businesswoman was the President. Mrs Brend suggested the branch should hold an annual Gala Dinner at one of her hotels and she would subsidise the price of the tickets to maximise profits for the RNLI.
In November of that year the inaugural Gala Dinner was launched at the Barnstaple Hotel. It was a black tie event with a guest speaker invited to attend. Over the years the speakers included sports personalities, comedians, an ambassador to Morocco, the chair of an airline and others from numerous other walks of life.
The dinner was a huge success, with guests numbering 180 to 200 people per year. The amount of work that Arnold personally put into organising the dinner each year was extraordinary and many thousands of pounds were raised for the local lifeboat stations at Ilfracombe, Appledore and Clovelly.
David Burgess the volunteer manager of the Barnstaple and District fundraising branch said;
‘In 2019 the Gala Dinner celebrated the 25th anniversary and it was decided that the event should be in honour of Arnold for all the work he had carried out over the years, his dedication to the RNLI has been amazing and he will be so sadly missed by many.’
Notes to editors
· Please see attached picture of RNLI Barnstaple & District Branch President Arnold Bradbury BEM PHF FCIB
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Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.